Science Minister launches Questacon Technology Learning Centre

A man, two woman and two school children working with chickenwire.

The Minister for Science and Research Senator Don Farrell today launched the Questacon Technology Learning Centre (QTLC) in Canberra.

In an Australian first, the QTLC helps secondary school students to actively turn their ideas into innovations and inventions. This latest initiative from Questacon has been made possible through a $16.3 million investment by the Australian Government.

Questacon Director, Professor Graham Durant said, “We are proud to launch the Questacon Technology Learning Centre today.
“We’re igniting the imagination of Australia’s future innovators, engineers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs, and empowering students to move from being technology consumers to technology creators.”

The experiences delivered at the QTLC will immerse participants in the innovation process, which is central to national productivity and competitiveness.
Senator Farrell said, “This latest Questacon initiative is part of the Australian Government's drive to develop a skilled workforce able to address economic and global challenges."

The QTLC programs will help young people harness their own creativity, giving them confidence to embark on the journey from idea to product; following in the footsteps of the successful Australian inventors whose stories are told at the QTLC.

The QTLC delivers technology workshops that nurture students’ problem-solving skills, encouraging them to create, design and make. The Maker Space is fully equipped with modern design tools such as 3D printers.

The workshops are also offered to classrooms across the country, via high-definition videoconferencing. The QTLC will also offer public events and exhibitions, and provide a hub for Canberra’s maker community.

The Technology for Mums program was showcased at the launch; a collaboration between Questacon and the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the ANU.

Senator Farrell interacted with mums and their children as they created simple, hand-cut puzzles, an electronic musical keyboard using fruit, and experienced the cutting-edge manufacturing technology of 3D printing.

Technology for Mums helps mums assist their children to learn about science and technology. By providing ideas and inspiration, mums can confidently explore science and technology with their children at home.

The QTLC complements the much loved National Science and Technology Centre in the Parliamentary Triangle. The new facility is located in the Royal Australian Mint’s former premises, with the re-purposed interior transformed into an innovative workspace and public exhibition area.

"The Australian Government is proud to have supported the refurbishment of one of Canberra's landmark buildings, bringing it back into productive public life and able to deliver for the nation's future," Senator Farrell said.

The Questacon Technology Learning Centre is also home to Questacon’s science communication team; the Shell Questacon Science Circus—Questacon’s flagship national touring program; and Questacon’s manufacturing plant where science exhibitions are designed and built before being toured nationally and internationally.

Questacon Media contact: Annie Harris, Senior Communications Advisor – Media, 0439 399 912.